Ah, just in time for Christmas, the good people at EAR Music have graciously sent out something that many a (gran)dad wouldn’t mind finding in their stockings.
It is well-known that Deep Purple had their flings with classical music, but it’s perhaps less known that the man behind the keys, Jon Lord (1941 – 2012), actually composed a number of symphonies. ‘Gemini Suite’ was the second classical work he did, and it came out in 1971. When I say ‘classical’ that is with a slight twist.
For ‘Gemini Suite’ is a cornucopia of classical and modern rock music. Recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studios, the London Symphony Orchestra along with Lord and his comrades from Deep Purple, Ian Paice (drums) and Roger Glover (bass) are making strides to blur the boundaries between hard rock and classical. Although it would have seemed a natural choice, Ritchie Blackmore is not there, but the guitar solos are delivered by the blues guitarist Albert Lee.
Even without forcing yourself to listen with fresh ears, this work of art is in its entirety impressive and exciting – despite the fact that it was recorded one year before I was born.
When listening through the album, there is one section that doesn’t work as well for me as the others. The vocal section stands out, perhaps because the voices of Yvonne Elliman and Tony Ashton don’t fit the rest of the soundscape. I would personally much have preferred an entirely instrumental album.
But as you know, tastes vary, and this is indeed something I shall look forward to sharing with both my mum and my kids during Christmas.
05. Bass Guitar
Playing time: 47 minutes
Release date: 9th of December
Label: EAR Music